Starting from the church Maria Schnee you head out, cross the hamlet Kalkstein and take the Peststeig path (No. 6a) at the northwestern end of the village in the direction of "Wegelate Säge". In some places, the trail leads down over meadows without signs before it reaches the asphalt road. After a short break at the "Wegelate Säge", follow the road for a short while, but then turn left onto path no. 2 "Wanderweg Unterstaller Alm". Already after 100 m you will come across the worth seeing natural monument "Sinkersee" Lake, which you walk around on a fenced path. Then follow path no. 2 on the shaded side to the Unterstalleralm, where you can take a break.
After a refreshing rest, you start the ascent on the left via path no. 15, 328 in the direction of Pfannspitze. Below the summit you cross the Villgrater Törl (2.505 m) and take another short break in the midst of an impressive mountain scenery. Via trail no. 328 you descend to the Hintere Stalle Alm and hike along a forest road to the Alpe Stalle. Now the final descent into the Defereggental valley follows, parallel to the Stallebach stream with its imposing waterfall, where you enter the valley floor in the small village of Rinderschinken and reach the Mariahilf pilgrimage chapel via a short detour into the valley. From here, it is almost effortless to reach your destination of the day, the parish church of St. Jakob, via flat valley hiking trails (No. 74, 706 and "Wassererlebniswelt").
Along the Trail
the only Venetian sawmill still operated by waterpower is a real unique specimen. Thanks to the initiative of the Villgrater local heritage society, this "industrial monument" has been preserved and renovated. Right next to it is an intact „Lodenwalke“!
the natural monument called "s'Sinkerseabl" by the villagers of Villgrat is a wetland protected by traditional wooden fences in the middle of an alpine pasture. There are also information boards for additional details.
The Villgratental valley is characterised by a multitude of alpine pastures and villages. Your way leads past the Unterstalleralm, which after the Oberstalleralm is the largest ensemble of alpine pastures in the valley.
Mariahilf Chapel in Maria Hilf/St. Jakob i. D.
The Mariahilf Chapel, extended in 1841, contains four stained glass windows depicting the statues of the Virgin Mary of Lavant, Maria Luggau, Kalkstein and Obermauern. The Mariahilf picture on the altar is a copy of the painting in the Innsbruck Cathedral by the Protestant artist Lucas Cranach. Since 2017, a Calvary by Othmar Trost can also be seen here!
From here to St. Jakob you can follow the impressive "Wassererlebnisweg" with 31 stops.